If you brush your teeth each day, twice a day, do you really need to worry about tooth decay? How does tooth decay develop if you are doing what you are supposed to do?
Tooth decay can occur for many reasons. At the heart of this is the need for routine general dentistry services. If you haven’t been in to see your dentist recently, reach out to Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza for general, cosmetic, or specialty dentistry services in Texas.
How Does Tooth Decay Develop on Teeth?
Tooth decay is a term used to describe the breakdown of the exterior portion of your tooth. The tooth is made up of several layers of protective material designed to shield the inner layer of tissues and nerves. Several things can occur to cause tooth decay to happen. This generally happens through a process spanning months.
- Enamel breakdown is generally the first step. It occurs when bacteria starts to damage the enamel in specific areas. Bacteria produce plaque, which is a sticky substance that coats the tooth. It turns to tartar when it hardens.
- Bacteria can continue to reproduce significantly, creating more plaque over time. After getting through the enamel, it can then get into the dentin, which gives it access into the tissues and root of a tooth. This causes significant damage and pain.
- The damage continues until the tooth is no longer able to withstand it. This often leads to the tissue dying and the tooth requiring extraction.
Understanding the process of tooth decay can give you some indication of why it is so important to be aggressive at treating it.
How does tooth decay develop this type of damage, though? Most of the time, plaque is the main cause of the damage. Plaque is the byproduct of bacteria. When bacteria is significant, the immune system cannot control its growth alone. Good oral hygiene – which includes brushing and flossing throughout the day – is important and can prevent excessive build-up. Another reason for decay comes from acids. Some foods that contain acid can damage the exterior of the tooth as well.
What to Do to Protect Your Smile
If you don’t want your teeth to decay, there are several preventive steps you can take to minimize this risk:
- See your Houston general dentist every six months.
- Have professional teeth cleaning every six months or when recommended by your dentist.
- If you have damage to your teeth, talk to your dentist about a root canal procedure to remove it.
- Dental fluoride treatments may also help to remove bacteria.
- Discuss the benefits of dental sealants and fillings to protect your tooth.
Each of these strategies may help to minimize the amount of damage you have to your teeth from acids and bacteria. Good oral hygiene, coupled with routine care from your dentist, is all you need to do to ensure your teeth are healthy in most cases.
Protect Your Teeth with Routine Appointments at Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza
Brushing and flossing are important, but seeing your dentist on a routine basis is even more important to protect your teeth. When you’re asking, “How does tooth decay develop?” recognize you can control when this occurs in most cases. Contact Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza to learn more about your treatment options, which include:
- Teeth cleaning and dental exams- routine yearly check-ups with dental x-rays
- Emergency dental services– for damaged teeth or problems with braces
- Tooth polishing and whitening- brighten your smile from common stains
- Pediatric dentistry services– to teach your child the best dental habits
- Specialist services- taking care of periodontal health, dental braces, and sedation
Call 832.551.3318 to schedule an appointment with our friendly dental team today.